Approaches to the Aesthetic Valuation of the Avifauna
Aesthetic valuation of natural objects is an important part of aesthetic exploitation of natural resources. Aesthetic valuation of birds is a topical issue, and finding the solution is a necessary stage in targeted shaping of the fauna of human settlements. However, the criteria for such evaluation have not been developed yet, although the need for establishing these criteria was discussed as long as twenty years ago. Our research was aimed at providing scientific foundations for the unbiased criteria for the aesthetic valuation of birds, including development of the criteria, validation through the aesthetic valuation of urban ornithofauna, analysis of the aesthetic structure of the ornithofauna in relation to the specific features of avian synanthropization and the level of public knowledge on birds. We suggest using the specially designed AVI index to assess the aesthetic significance of individual avian species and ornithofauna in general, and the PFI index to study the public ornithological awareness. They allow characterizing both potential, or prospective, and real, considering the public level of knowledge, aesthetic value of birds. We suggest using the synanthropization index Is in research on the level of avian synanthropization. Our criteria include the assessment of morphological and physiological features of the birds, as well as of their interactions with humans. The parameters of the first group show that non-synanthropic birds are generally more aesthetically pleasing, whereas the parameters of the second group have higher values in synanthropic species.
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